Hebrews 7 (The Message); Psalm 18 & 32:7-8 (NIV)

Lord, You stand by Your promises so that I might stand ON those promises

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Father, thanks for Jesus!  This passage points out how the “former way of doing things, a system of commandments that never worked out the way it was supposed to, was set aside.”  (You knew that would happen; that the law wouldn’t bring anything to maturity.)  Then, You put in its place “another way– Jesus! — a way that DOES work, that brings [me] right into Your presence.”  You gave Your word; You won’t take it back.  You said to Jesus, “You’re the permanent priest.”  This “makes Jesus the guarantee of a far better way between You and [me]–one that really works!”

Jesus, thank You for being “there from now to eternity to save everyone who comes to the Father through You.  You’re always on the job to speak up for me, for all of us.”  You are a high priest who perfectly fits my needs:  completely holy, uncompromised by sin, and with authority extending as high as our Father’s presence in heaven itself.  Unlike other high priests, You don’t have to offer sacrifices for Your own sins every day before You can get around to me and my sins.  You’ve done it once and for all: offered up YOURSELF as the sacrifice.  Thanks so MUCH Jesus!

Lord, You are my rock, my fortress and my deliverer; my rock in whom I take refuge.  You are my shield and the strength of my salvation, my stronghold.  When I call to You, the One worthy of praise, I am saved from the enemy of my faith.  You are my support.  You rescue me because You delight in me!Ps1829

“To the faithful You show Yourself faithful, to the blameless You show Yourself blameless, to the pure You show Yourself pure.”  You, O Lord, keep my lamp burning, turning the darkness that worry can bring into light in Your presence.

With Your help I can run through any barricade of distractions, procrastination, busy-ness, daydreams, unimportant time-wasters, etc.  It is YOU who arms me with strength and makes my way perfect.  You give me Your shield of victory, and Your right hand (Jesus! 😉 sustains me.  You are my hiding place; You will protect me from trouble and surround me with songs of deliverance.  You will instruct me and teach me in the way I should go; You will counsel me and watch over me.  You promise that Your unfailing love surrounds me because I trust in You!  oh, yes!

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Hebrews 6

Lord, You stand by Your promises so that I might stand ON those promises

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Father, You have been continually at work in me since I first surrendered my heart to You.  You have nudged me, moved me, dragged me, so that I might “leave the preschool fingerpainting exercises on Christ and get on with the grand work of art.”  You are growing me up in Him.

Thank You for giving me a taste of heaven and for making me part of the work of Your Holy Spirit.  Thank You for letting me experience the sheer goodness of Your Word and Your power within me.

Strengthen me to not drag my feet on this journey of faith with You, but rather, to “extend the same intensity toward a full-bodied hope (assurance) in You, and to keep at it ’til the finish.  Make [me] like those who stay the course with committed faith and then get everything promised to them.” (MSG)

Your Word says, “We who have run for our very lives to God have every reason to grab the promised hope with both hands and never let go.  It’s an unbreakable spiritual lifeline, reaching past all appearances right to the very presence of God where Jesus, running on ahead of us, has taken up His permanent post as high priest for us.” (MSG)

Thank You for giving Your word in Your Word, and for standing by Your promises so that I might stand ON those promises.  Keep my faith firmly planted in Your Word.  Make my heart like the kind of soil that produces an abundance of crops so that many, many others can feast on the overflow of my heart, as they see You in me.  Make me just like Jesus.  Oh yes! (amen)

Hebrews 5

Lord, You stand by Your promises so that I might stand ON those promises

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Once a barrier separated me from You, Father.  For many centuries a human representative whom You’d chosen could annually pierce that dividing wall on behalf of humanity, to seek Your mercy for sin.  And You “rolled back” the sin, choosing not to count it against mankind.

And THEN, in Your perfect timing and flawless design, Another was chosen by You to do what none of the other human representatives could do for us.  Your Son took on our form–fully human, fully divine–and walked among us.  “While He lived on earth, anticipating death, Jesus cried out in pain and wept in sorrow as He offered up priestly prayers to You.  Because He honored You, You answered Him.  Though He was Your Son, He learned TRUSTING-OBEDIENCE by what He suffered, just as we do.  Then, having arrived at the full stature of His maturity and having been announced by You as high priest in the order of Melchizedek. He became the source of eternal salvation to all who believingly obey Him.” (Hebrews 7:1-17)

Once a barrier separated me from You, Father.  But once for all time, for all people–including me–Your Son died to tear down that barrier and provide me free access to You!  What a blessed gift!

May this day hold moments when trusting-obedience shows itself in my heart and life.  Bless me with a peaceful heart that rests in Your mercy, grace and forgiveness, as You keep working to make me just like Jesus.  Amen.

Hebrews 4

Lord, You stand by Your promises so that I might stand ON those promises

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Father, here in this passage You’ve mentioned Your rest, Your Word, and Your Son.  You hold out to me the promise of resting in You, pulling me on toward Your goal for me.  Help me not to be disqualified through disbelief.  Rather, strengthen my faith in You as I hold to Your promises, anticipating the experience of Your rest.  At the end of this journey, I’ll surely rest with You.  Along the way, bring me refreshment and peace in Your presence, in moments alone with You.

In Your Word, You mean what You say.  What You say goes.  Your “powerful Word is sharp as a surgeon’s scalpel, cutting through everything, whether doubt or defense, laying me open to listen and obey.  Nothing and no one is impervious to Your Word.”  How good to know too that Your Word not only makes an incision where needed; it also stitches up the wound, applies a healing ointment and restores wholeness to the tissues.

Your Son has served as my great High Priest, who opened the way to provide me ready access to You.  His death destroyed the dividing wall of sin between You and me, so that now You and I can freely and constantly commune.  As my high priest, Jesus, it’s wonderful to know that You are fully in touch with my reality.  You’ve been through weakness and testing, experienced it all–all but the sin.  So, You’ve made it possible for me to walk right up to You to get what You are so ready to give.  May I receive Your mercy and accept Your grace, allowing You to embrace me with Your all-consuming, perfect love. Amen.

Hebrews 3

Lord, You stand by Your promises so that I might stand ON those promises

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Jesus, You are “the centerpiece of everything [I believe], faithful in everything Your Father gave You to do.”  Help me to fix my thoughts on You, so that I’ll not forget Your constant presence and involvement in everything I do.

You, Father, are the Master Builder of this house called by my name.  You have taken up residence in my heart and You have set Your Son in charge of this house.  Help me to keep a firm grip on the bold confidence I have in You as my heart serves as the place where You dwell.

Guide me down YOUR road.  Help me to watch my step.  Protect me from any “evil unbelief lying around that could trip [me] up and throw [me] off course, diverting [me] from You, the living God.  As long as it is still Your Today, help us to keep each other on our toes so sin doesn’t slow down our reflexes.  If we can only keep our grip on the sure thing we started out with, we’re in this with You, Jesus, for the long haul.”

You have said, “You keep in perfect peace the one whose mind is steadfast, because she trusts in You.” (Isaiah 26:3).  Draw me to an even deeper trust in You as the things that would steal my peace increase.  Help my mind to be steadfast in its focus on YOU.  Keep me in Your Word and in Your will.  Amen.

Hebrews 2

Lord, You stand by Your promises so that I might stand ON those promises

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Father, by Your all-surpassing wisdom, You laid out and carried out a plan which takes in all of heaven and earth in order to personally affect my one simple life!  Thank You for choosing to send Jesus to earth to “fix things” that we, Your children, have damaged, destroyed or set aside (2:5-18)

You came in the flesh in order that YOU might:

RESTORE CREATION, with us as caretakers of all that is yours

BE MY PERSONAL PIONEER OF HUMAN SALVATION — You have delivered personally to me the gift of salvation. In Your death, by our Father’s grace, You, Jesus, fully experienced death in every person’s place, including mine.

MAKE ME “FAMILY”– Since I, being one You’ve saved, and You, the One who saves, have a common origin, You don’t hesitate to treat me as family.

UNDERSTAND HOW I FEEL — Since I am made of flesh and blood, it was logical that You, my Savior, took on flesh and blood in order to share in my humanity.  You had to enter into every detail of human life, so that You “might become a merciful and faithful high priest.” By doing so, You were able to have “experienced it all Yourself–all the pain, all the testing–and are able to help where help is needed” in my life.

PROVIDE VICTORY OVER SIN — By Your death, Jesus, You destroyed the devil, who holds the power of death no longer.  And You have freed me and all who have been held in slavery to the fear of death, or separation from You.  You are my high priest who takes away my sins and makes me acceptable to God, my Father.

You, Jesus, are my Restorer, my Savior, my Brother, my High Priest, and my Mighty Warrior!  All praise and glory and honor belong to YOU!!!  Amen.

Hebrews 1 and Psalm 23

Lord, You stand by Your promises so that I might stand ON those promises.

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Father, thank You for Your Son, Jesus!  Through Him You created ALL things at the start. And in the end, it will ALL belong to Him.  Because everything is Yours, all things in Your hands, You have me in Your hands and You have all that I need in Your hands too.  Skillfully and in Your perfect timing, You put the pieces together so that I’m taken care of.

Jesus, because You are “stamped with God’s nature” and You “perfectly mirror Him,” You allow me to see the Father.  You have opened the doorway for me to experience His awesome might and His wondrous love!

You hold everything together by what You say–Your very words sustain all things…even me!

“Lord, it was You who created the heavens.
Lord, it was Your hand that put the stars in their place.
Lord, it is Your voice that commands the morning.
Even oceans and their waves bow at Your feet!”*

Thank You, Jesus, for providing “purification for sins,” for finishing once and for all the sacrifice necessary for sins, so that I might be free from its chains.  Thanks for the pure heart You can and do bring.  I’m at Your mercy, Lord.  Thank You for Your grace!

Jesus, You have taken your “honored place high in the heavens alongside God, the Father.”  Thank You for being my high priest who always lives to intercede for me.  (Heb 7:25)

Now, Lord, I’m seeing why David, a shepherd himself and knowing You as he did, could so confidently, gratefully and expectantly proclaim, “The LORD is my shepherd…”  He knew that the nature of the one who tends a flock makes all the difference in how the sheep are cared for.

You, my Maker, my Sustainer, my Redeemer, my Mediator… YOU, the Lord of all the universe, are MY Shepherd!!  You have chosen to set me as the object of Your affection and care.  Because of who YOU are, there is NOTHING I could want or need that You have not already supplied.  I lack nothing…what I have, You’ve given me.  What I need, You will provide.

*Lyrics from “Your Beloved” by Brent Helming ©1996 Mercy/Vineyard Publishing. http://youtu.be/oZf7kwZaTjs